I love wine. I love to go wine tasting. I love wine with any meal. I love wine in between meals. I love both red and white wine, and I cannot really say which I prefer most. I do not like real sweet wine, but I love champagne and sparkling wines too. I love just everything to do with wine, except for the extra weight I have put on as a result of this “love” and the lack of self-control to stop at only one glass.
My husband and I have been members of many wine clubs over the years including Laetitia, Summerland and Firestone, as well as a few smaller, organic wineries.
There is such an absolute carefree pleasure you receive in visiting a winery-we usually make it a picnic day-and then delight in receiving a subsequent wine shipment in the mail. Our favorite wines on our porch step kindle the great memories of each winery we have visited. We actually canceled all of our wine memberships some time back because of the growing cost. We also finished our bottles too quickly. More like me. I take the blame. My love for wine, specialty wine shipments and the fact that I work from home made it far too easy to “sip” throughout my day. This was the beginning of my weight problem. (Honestly, my mouth is watering as I write this, thinking back!) Wikipedia describes a “wino” perfectly: Wino is a slang term for a person who drinks excessive amounts of wine. I am ashamed to say this describes me.
We also have thousands of wine corks we have collected over the years for various crafts (wine cork boards are so awesome!). It amazes me that we literally drank every bottle matching the endless supply of corks we have! Actually, it’s kind of scary.
Over the years I have fallen hard in love with everything to do with wine (in addition to drinking) from wine movies, history about wine, books about wine, wine Christmas decorations, wine place mats for our dining room table, a variety of wine glasses, wine towels, wine picnic sets, electric wine openers and even a wine aerator, which perfectly aerates red wine and brings out the very best taste.
I also love to cook and can easily pair the perfect foods with the perfect wine. Of course, cheese, crackers and chocolate go very well, another source of additional weight gain.
I can find a million excuses not to give up wine. I especially love to blame my French heritage. But the fact is, I know this has become a problem for me and an obstacle preventing me from reaching my healthy goals. In all honesty, I have grieved letting wine go. It feels like I have let a part of me go, it has felt a bit like mourning a best friend. But, this best friend has really been a foe. An occasional glass is just fine, but a few glasses to a bottle? Every day? Sometimes more? Not a healthy habit. And a habit it became.
The greatest benefit I have gained in curbing my intake of wine is my sleep quality. One would think wine would be the perfect sleeping aid. Not so for me. I find I sleep deeper and wake refreshed without wine. I am losing weight and keeping it off. I am exercising daily and eating a balanced diet. I hydrate more with water and green tea, not wine. I used to reduce what I ate during the day to allow for wine calories. This type of diet DOES NOT WORK! I obviously do not do this anymore.
Some of my most important reasons I have reduced wine from my life, besides my desire to get my body and my life back, are:
People drinking wine or any type of alcoholic beverage in moderation tend not to be aware that alcohol creates a chemical dependency. Our body’s chemistry gets accustomed to the effects of the drug. Naturally occurring neurotransmitters in the brain are released in response to the ingestion of alcohol.
A common effect of regular alcohol use is a buildup of fat and scar tissue in the liver that ends up seriously compromising its function.
Alcohol depresses the central nervous system. In small concentrations, alcohol reduces inhibition, prompting a mild euphoria, sociability or self-confidence but at the same time, it rapidly impairs attention, judgment and control.
Over time a person who consumes alcohol regularly develops metabolic tolerance: alcohol will be metabolized faster and a higher amount is needed in order to experience the same effects. This leads to alcohol dependence.
I have chosen to go weeks without wine. I started with the goal of no wine Monday-Thursday, allowing for the weekends. Presently, I am just not having any. I feel better, although I still love wine and have such fond memories associated with it. I am choosing to govern my life, not allow a glass of wine to dictate. When and if I do have a glass, it will be just that: one glass, preferably with a meal. Having a glass of wine each day is actually good for our health, but no more than that.
I am wondering if anyone else struggles or loves wine as much as me? It is all about choices isn’t it, and staying consistent.